Brest, France
20-21-22 October 2004


edited by Michel Olagnon and Marc Prevosto



Ifremer and their partners organized a workshop in Le Quartz, Brest, France, from Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd October 2004, during SeaTechWeek 2004. The aim of the seminar was to assess the state of the art as to conditions of occurrence of waves or groups of waves of unexpected severity, responsible for ship wrecks and damages to offshore oil and gas production systems; and to establish a ``road map'' as to research actions and collaborations needed to improve the prediction and forecasting abilities in this domain.

This page gives access to the presentations that were made during the workshop, and to the full papers that the authors provided after the workshop. The presentations are available as pdf files that may be viewed with the Acrobat Reader freely downloadable software. For most of the presentations, the original Powerpoint is also made available (PPT or PPS).






  1. Part 1. Definition, characterization and discussion of the rogueness of waves from their statistics and from the manners in which they affect ships and ocean structures.
    • Session 1.1: Large ships and platforms (life-long extremes)
      Introductory presentation:

Sverre Haver (Statoil, Norway) - " Freak Waves - A Suggested Definition and Possible Consequences for Marine Structures " ( Oral Presentation PPT PDF ).

Regular presentations:

Bas Buchner and Arjan Voogt (Marin, The Netherlands) - " Wave impacts due to steep fronted waves " ( Oral Presentation PPT PDF ).
Rolf Baarholm and Carl Trygve Stansberg (MARINTEK, Norway) - " Extreme Wave Impact on GBS Platform Deck " ( Oral Presentation PPT PDF ).
D.Howell Peregrine (School of Mathematics, Bristol University, UK) - (Abstract) " Violent water wave impacts on a wall "
Nigel Barltrop (Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, UK) - (Abstract) " A simple wave front steepness enhancement prediction methodology "
Bernard Molin, F. Remy, O. Kimmoun, E. Jamois (EGIM, France) - (Abstract) " Enhanced wave effects on the weather side of reflective structures "
Anne Karin Magnusson (, Norway), Jaak Monbaliu, Alessandro Toffoli (KU Leuwen, Belgium) & Elzbieta Bitner-Gregersen (DNV, Norway) - " On the shape of large waves in the central and southern North Sea "
Paul C. Liu (NOAA, USA), Keith MacHutchon (Liebenberg & Stander International, South Africa) - " Exploring rogue waves from observations in South Indian Ocean " ( Oral Presentation PPT PDF ).

    • Session 1.2: Small crafts, high speed crafts (unexpected highs in operational conditions)
      Introductory presentation:

Bruce Johnson (US Naval Academy, USA) and Stefan Grochowalski (Ottawa, Canada) - (Abstract - not presented due to last minute problem) " Development of Operational Guidance Criteria for Small Craft Operating in Dangerous Seas "

Regular presentation:

Søren Peter Kjeldsen (Trondheim Maritime Academy, Norway) - " Examples of observed freak waves in Norway and related ship accidents "


  2. Part 2. Generating mecanisms for rogue waves, validation from numerical and physical experiments, observation and comparison between observed and modelled features.
    • Session 2.1: Theoretical results, numerical and physical simulations
      Introductory presentation:

Paul H. Taylor (University of Oxford, UK) - (Abstract) " Rogue Waves and wave focusing - speculations on theory, numerical results and observations "

Regular presentations:

Richard Gibson and Chris Swan (Imperial College London, UK) - " The role of resonant wave interactions in the evolution of extreme wave events. "
J.P. Giovanangeli, C. Kharif (IRPHE, France) and E. Pelinovsky (Institute of Applied Physics, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia) - " An experimental study of the wind effect on the freak wave generation "
Dorian Fructus and John Grue (Universitetet i Oslo, Norway) - " A rapid fully nonlinear method in three dimensions with simulations of steep wave event "
J. Grue, D. Clamond, M. Francius (Universitetet i Oslo, Norway) and C. Kharif (IRPHE, France) - " On the role of downshifting in formation of large wave events "
Tarmo Soomere and Jüri Engelbrecht (Tallinn Technical University, Estonia) - "  Extreme elevations and slopes of interacting Kadomtsev-Petviashvili solitons in shallow water " ( Oral Presentation PPT PDF ).
Hervé Socquet-Juglard, Kristian Dysthe (Universitetet i Bergen, Norway), Karsten Trulsen (Matematisk Institutt, Universitetet i Oslo, Norway), Harald E. Krogstad, Jingdong Liu (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway) - " Distribution of extreme waves by simulations "
Félicien Bonnefoy, Pierre Roux de Reilhac, David Le Touzé, Pierre Ferrant (Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France) - " Numerical & Physical Experiments of Wave focusing in short-crested seas " ( Oral Presentation PPT PDF ).
Karsten Trulsen (Matematisk Institutt, Universitetet i Oslo, Norway) - (Abstract) " Transversal crest and group modulation of extreme waves "
C. Fochesato, F. Dias (ENS Cachan, France), S. Grilli (University of Rhode Island, USA) - " Wave energy focusing in a three-dimensional numerical wave tank  "
Miguel Onorato, Alfred Osborne, Marina Serio (University of Torino, Italy) - " Modulational Instability and strongly non-Gaussian statistics in random wave-trains: Theory and experiment " ( Oral PresentationPDF ).
Guillaume Oger, Mathieu Doring, Bertrand Alessandrini, Pierre Ferrant (Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France) - " SPH: Towards the simulation of wave-body interactions in extreme seas "
Sergei Badulin (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia), A. Pushkarev (Waves and Solitons LLC, USA), D. Resio (US Army Engineer R&D Center, USA), V. Zakharov (Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia & University of Arizona, USA) - " Self-similarity of wind-wave spectra. Numerical and theoretical studies " ( Oral Presentation PPT PDF ).

    • Session 2.2: Comparison with observed results

Hervé Socquet-Juglard and Kristian B. Dysthe (University of Bergen, Norway), Karsten Trulsen (University of Oslo, Norway), Sébastien Fouques, Jingdong Liu and Harald E. Krogstad (NTNU, Trondheim, Norway) - " Spatial extremes and the characteristic shapes of large wave " ( Oral Presentation PPT PDF ).
Chris Swan, Richard Gibson and Peter Tromans (Imperial College London, UK) - " Wave crest statistics calculated using a fully nonlinear spectral response surface method. "
Andonowati and E. van Groesen (Marin, The Netherlands) - " Maximal Temporal Amplitude (MTA) as a new concept for deterministic wave generation "
Nobuhito Mori, (Osaka City University, Japan) - " Occurrence probability of freak wave in nonlinear wave field " ( Oral Presentation PDF ).
Elzbieta Bitner-Gregersen (DNV, Norway) & Anne Karin Magnusson (, Norway) - " Extreme Events in Field Data and in a Second Order Wave Model "
Michel Olagnon (Ifremer, France) & Anne Karin Magnusson (, Norway) - " Spectral parameters to characterize the risk of rogue waves occurrence in a sea state " ( Oral Presentation PPT PDF ).
L.J.Lopatoukhin (State University, Dep. Oceanology), A.V.Boukhanovsky (Institute for High Performance Computing) and Valentine Rozhkov (State University, Dep. Oceanology) (St. Petersburg, Russia) - (Abstract) " Extreme and freak waves, difference in features and statistics "
R. Huijsmans, N. Karjanto, Andonowati, Klopman & E. van Groesen (Marin, The Netherlands) - " Experiments on extreme wave generation using the Soliton on Finite background "
Alastair D. Jenkins (Universitetet i Bergen, Norway), Anne Karin Magnusson (, Norway), Andreas Niedermeier (DLR, Germany), Jaak Monbaliu and Alessandro Toffoli (KU Leuwen, Belgium), Karsten Trulsen (Matematisk Institutt, Universitetet i Oslo, Norway) - " Rogue waves and extreme events in measured time-series " ( Oral Presentation PDF ).
C. Guedes Soares, and E.M. Antão (IST, Portugal) - " Comparison of the characteristics of abnormal waves on the North Sea and Gulf of Mexico "


  2. Part 3. Prediction of rogue waves in the short term, through warnings issued with sea conditions forecasts, and in the long term as refinements in the metocean climate descriptions and in the design procedures.
    • Session 3.1: Can sensible warnings be issued ?
      Introductory presentation:

Henri Savina & Jean-Michel Lefèvre (MétéoFrance) - " Sea state in Marine Safety Information : present state, future prospect " ( Oral Presentation PDF ).

Regular presentations:

Martin Holt, Gary Fullerton, Jian-Guo Li (Met Office, UK) - " Forecasting sea state with a spectral wave model " ( Oral Presentation PPT PDF ).
A.V.Boukhanovsky (Institute for High Performance Computing), L.J.Lopatoukhin (State University, Dep. Oceanology) (St. Petersburg, Russia) and C.G.Soares (Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisboa, Portugal) - " Climatic wave spectra and freak waves probability "
Mark A. Donelan (university of Miami/RSMAS, USA), Anne Karin Magnusson (, Norway) and Elzbieta Bitner-Gregersen (DNV, Norway) - " Towards a Global Rogue Wave Warning System "

    • Session 3.2: Should we modify design specifications ?
      Introductory presentation:

Gil-Yong Han (IACS - International Association of Classification Societies) - " Ship design rules and regulations, an overview of major themes "

Regular presentation:

C. Guedes Soares, N. Fonseca and R. Pascoal (IST, Portugal) - " Comparison of present wave induced load criteria with loads induced by an abnormal wave on marine structures "




Additional Papers



Our warmest thanks to Professor Laurence Draper and to David Carter for providing reprints of the first known articles about freak waves, to an anonymous former cadet of the Jeanne d'Arc for the report of a near-miss, and to Sverre Haver for clarifying the story of the famous "New Year Wave".

  • Historical reprints

Laurence Draper (reprinted from Oceanus (X:4), July 1964) - " "Freak" Ocean Waves "
Laurence Draper (reprinted from J. Navigation (24:3), Royal Inst. of Navigation , July 1971) - " Severe Wave Conditions at Sea "

  • Testimonies

Cdt. Frédéric-Moreau (Jeanne d'Arc, France) - " The Glorious Three "
Sverre Haver (Statoil, Norway) - " A possible freak wave event measured at the Draupner Jacket January 1 1995 "